UK construction industry warns time is running out to prepare for No Deal Brexit

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The co-chair of the UK’s Construction Leadership Council has written to the Business Secretary, warning of the risks of a No Deal Brexit.

Andy Mitchell accepts that “responsible businesses will be looking to put in place contingencies for a ‘No Deal’ scenario on 1 January 2021. To that end, we are writing to ask that the Government takes steps to provide as much certainty and guidance for the construction industry as possible:

  • “The Government’s advice on the Construction Products Regulation in the event of a No Deal was withdrawn earlier this year. We would like to ask that this guidance is updated and reinstated as soon as possible, to allow businesses to prepare for a possible No Deal scenario at the end of the year. 
  • Currently, businesses are unable to adequately predict the prices and costs of materials and goods that originate from the EU
    after 1 January 2021. Without being able to anticipate, their ability to reliably source and cost materials and products when needed will have profound impacts on business planning, site operations, project completion, contractual uncertainty, cash flow and ultimately, business survival.
  • In employment, a number of roles remain outside of the proposed new immigration system such as labourers, dry liners, asbestos removers and some plant operators, despite a clear need for them. The Government’s proposal for low-skilled migrant labour is the temporary worker route. However, if this is to work for our sector, the duration of the work permit will need to be extended to two years. We ask that you consider amending the proposed Bill to reflect these concerns; otherwise the industry will be faced with a shortage of labour supply
  • While the Government has announced the creation of UKCA to replace the CE mark, it would be preferable for our industry if we could reach an agreement that achieved mutual recognition of such standards. Without mutual recognition of, for example, testing standards, UK businesses will have to repeatedly test products for different markets, which will add substantial costs and cause delays, damaging UK competitiveness.”

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